In general-purpose software applications, computation time is just a quality factor: faster is better. In cyber-physical systems (CPS), however, computation time is a correctness factor: missed deadlines for hard real-time applications, such as avionics and automobiles, can result in devastating, life-threatening consequences. Although many modern modeling languages for CPS include the notion of time, implementation languages such as C lack any temporal semantics. Consequently, models and programs for CPS are neither portable nor guaranteed to execute correctly on the real system; timing is merely a side effect of the realization of a software system on a specific hardware platform. In this position paper, we present the research initiative for a precision timed (PRET) infrastructure, consisting of languages, compilers, and microarchitectures, where timing is a correctness factor. In particular, the timing semantics in models and programs must be preserved during compilation to ensure that the behavior of real systems complies with models. We also outline new research and design challenges present in such an infrastructure.




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